This Trip Was Everything I Hoped it Would Be, How Could a Better Experience in the Grand Canyon Be Squeezed Into a 6 day Time Frame?
Don't worry about food - you will more than likely gain 5 pounds on this trip. I'm not sure how they got all that good food into the storage boxes on the raft but they did.
The Western River guides are jacks of all trades - everything from great food prep to small engine mechanics and Grand Canyon geology and history.
There was a little something for everyone. I was more interested in understanding the geology than I was in being entertained but there was more than enough technical info available from the guides to meet my layman's understanding of the canyon's geology.
Take an extra towel and keep it clean for the last day shower at Bar 10 Ranch. My wet, sandy towel was not a good way to end the first real shower I'd had in 6 days.
The helicopter ride out on the last day was pretty amazing - my first ever helicopter ride and in the Grand Canyon no less!
Outboard motor noise was not bad but did overwhelm the absolute quiet and the soft water sounds between rapids. I was able to except the motor noise as the tradeoff for being able to cover the 187 mile distance in the 6 days we had. If solitude and natural canyon sounds are important to you - a rowing/drifting trip of 14 - 18 days would probably be required to cover the same distance.
Get a full body rain suit - the water is cold and you will be glad you have it during morning runs if you are interested in the front seat ride through the rapids. You will be wet and when it is windy and shady you will be very cold. I was not going to buy rain pants but I'm glad I did.
If you're interested in starry skies - don't plan your trip during a full moon. Full moons are pretty special in their own way but full moons can still be seen from almost anywhere on earth - dark skies with full-on stars are much more difficult to find. This was just an incidental detail that I never thought of when planning this trip. I missed seeing the desert stars but it didn't really diminish the overall experience significantly.
I can't think of much I would change on this trip - as a first time experience it covered all the bases. We met lots of interesting people and everyone had a great time. If you can handle the basics of camping and want to see some of the most spectacular geology on the planet - this is the way to start.
Arizona - Grand Canyon Rafting 6 & 7 Day